Fine pieces of creative talent come in the form of Sawdust: a mix of one part Rob Gonzalez and one part Jonathan Quainton and based in the achingly creative Hoxton area of London town.
With four eyes for impeccable detail and quality of finish, a thing of true beauty in the printed form, this duo, as the same suggests, are ones to watch – highly flammable in a creative sense. So with the introduction out of the way, let’s kick things off with a brief Q&A…
1. HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED IN DESIGN?
Rob: I actually started out studying art & design but by the end of the course I was encouraged by my tutors to explore graphic design instead. I’m not sure if they genuinely thought I’d be a good graphic designer or if they realised I was horrible at art — either way it set me on my way and I’ve never looked back. Dave Chisnall gave me my break by allowing me onto the design course two weeks late — I owe him a lot.
Jon: As a child I was very interested in writing poetry, the idea of communicating personal emotions or humour for the reader to envisage, was fascinating to me. I can only guess that’s where my creativity began although I don’t think you intentionally aim to be in design at a young age, your interests just lead you there – I didn’t really know what design was until I left school.
Spread design for the launch publication of bike blog Fixed & What, dedicated to bikes and the culture that goes with it. The article is about Ben Orcutt’s bike sculpture made using glass components. Photography by Cliff Ritchey, design and custom type by Sawdust.
2. HAS ANYTHING PARTICULAR HAD AN INFLUENCE ON YOUR DESIGN STYLE?
Rob: We recently had the privilege of seeing Wim Crouwel speak at the Design Museum. He’s an incredibly inspiring person. His design looks as contemporary and relevant today as it did when he first created it. How can anybody not be inspired or even influenced by what he has achieved?
Jon: My influences are drawn from so many different places that it’s difficult pin-point one area. However, I have recently noticed that my emotions have a profound effect on the way that I design. Sometimes the first response you feel towards a brief can produce the best outcomes. The longer that you search for an idea the more distant your emotions become towards the brief, the excitement can get lost towards the end of longer drawn-out projects.
Photography by Andrew Moore, creative production by Edit. Design, art direction and custom type by Sawdust.
3. WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR WORK?
Rob: As a designer, it’s typical to challenge convention, for many it’s what drives us on, ourselves included. So I would have to say the most challenging aspect of our work is to convince clients that conventions need to be challenged in order to create truly powerful and meaningful work — it also paves the way for others to create newer and more exciting things.
“Various other design and typography based work from Sawdust
4. WHAT IS THE MOST SATISFYING ASPECT OF YOUR WORK?
Rob: When you convince a client to challenge convention. And it works.
Jon: Hearing genuinely positive feedback from clients.
Watch out for Sawdust’s Exclusive Faces font which goes live on Monday, April 18th.